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2nd Ex-GI's Aid Called Key to Spy Case Break

August 28, 1988|Associated Press

FRANKFURT, West Germany — The second former U.S. soldier implicated in a growing international spy scandal provided information that led investigators to crack the 10-year operation, a West German newspaper said Saturday.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, said U.S. officials first informed the West Germans about the spy case a little more than two weeks ago.

The West Germany-based ring reportedly sold the East Bloc secret information about North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense plans, nuclear missiles, pipeline systems and troop strength.

Retired Army Sgt. First Class Clyde Lee Conrad, of Sebring, Ohio, who allegedly led the spy ring, remained in prison Saturday, facing espionage charges. Conrad has refused to cooperate in the investigation, West German officials said.

Conrad paid another U.S. soldier "a five-figure sum" for obtaining secret NATO information, said chief West German prosecutor Kurt Rebmann.

Name Not Disclosed

The Bonn-based Die Welt newspaper said the second soldier, whose name has not been released, provided "the information that led to the arrest."

"Die Welt has found out that no charges have been filed against the (second) American citizen, although he is still in the Federal Republic (West Germany)," the conservative newspaper added.

Alexander Prechtel, spokesman for Rebmann, said he could not confirm or deny the report.

"The Americans first informed us about . . . Conrad on Friday, Aug. 12," Prechtel added.

Although officials here say the second American was a soldier when he was recruited, the Washington Post quoted Reagan Administration sources in Washington as saying he has since left the service.

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